Medicare for All comes with a price tag — and hard choices

Under certain assumptions, the report found, Medicare for All would reduce total U.S. health expenditures by about $2 trillion over a 10-year period.

.. Blahous shows with his study how hard the choices are, even when making generous allowances for the M4A plan. Leftists can mock him all they want for trying to meet them on their own turf, but if Democrats at some point actually try to pass Medicare for All, the Congressional Budget Office would perform much the same calculations, with much the same results. And laughter won’t make the hard numbers, or the hard choices, go away.

.. Having stacked the deck in favor of “M4A,” as Sanders calls his proposal, Blahous then comes up with a price tag: By 2031, the federal government would be spending an additional $4.2 trillion a year.

.. Medicare for All advocates will protest: Think of all the money that people wouldn’t need to spend on premiums! But the advocates already face an uphill battle persuading people to give up their current insurance — which 70 percent of Americans say they’re quite happy with, according to Gallup — for a massive Medicare expansion that might not suit them as well. The climb would be stiff indeed after people found out that their taxes were being doubled to pay for it.

.. And that’s if you make generous assumptions about costs — assumptions that are not very realistic, as Blahous notes. Particularly the assumption that health-care providers can be forced to accept Medicare reimbursement rates that are, according to the author, an average of 40 percent below the rates paid by private insurers.